Tag Archives: God’s Sovereignty

March 26 – God’s Sovereignty

Joshua 12-15

Caleb went to Joshua and reminded him that 45 years earlier, Moses had promised him a certain portion of the Promised Land. Now Joshua was assigning property to the Jews, and Caleb wanted to be sure Joshua gave him the land Moses had promised. So Joshua assigned Caleb that land.

Later, Achsah, Caleb’s daughter, asked her dad for springs of water to go with the land in the Negev he had already given her and her husband. Caleb gave her the springs.

These days, with the election coming, and with such unrest in our country and the world, I often hear it said, “God is Sovereign.” Many people seem to believe that means God will put whoever He wants in the White House, that He is exacting punishment on the world by causing some people to be suicide bombers. Some seem to take the attitude that we might as well sit back and let God do His thing because, after all, He is Sovereign.

But I don’t think that means God is up there playing a game of chess with our lives.

Would Joshua have remembered Moses’ promise to Caleb had Caleb not reminded him? Would Caleb have thought to include springs of water with the land he gave his daughter had she not asked? Would the Israelites have received the Promised Land had they not fought for it?

We won’t know the answers to those questions because Scripture tells us what actually happened. Had the requests not been made or the wars not fought we would be reading a different account.

Yes, God is absolutely, without question, Sovereign. He is the Supreme Ruler. He is the ultimate Power. But God has also chosen to exist in time while we are on earth.

Actually, He’s already at the end of time, too. He’s already returned for His own in the realm of eternity. We just haven’t experienced it yet, trapped in minutes and seconds.

The Bible tells us over and over how important our choices are. Why would our choices make any difference if God was “in control?”

Does God have a will concerning who occupies the White House the next four years? I am certain He knows who will be our next president. It will be the person who gets the most votes, and voting is a choice each of us must make.

I think God’s will is for Christians to fight for our land. He wills that we choose morality, obedience, and that we make our voices heard. I think His will is that we vote and make our position known. I think His will is that we take action and not sit back and assume He’s going to do it all.

If we sit at home and think that, because God is Sovereign, His will will be done with or without us, we are sadly mistaken. There are dozens of examples in the Bible where God wanted to bless His children but could not because of their choices. More than once He “gave them over” to their choices. And those times certainly couldn’t be described as His will for them.

I know that God is in control. I know He knows the end from the beginning. I know that He knows when life on earth will end. He is Sovereign.

But God’s Sovereignty does not let us off the hook. God knows what will happen if Christians stand up for themselves like Caleb and Achsah did, like Israel did when they fought for the land.

But He also knows what will happen if we don’t.

That chapter hasn’t been written yet in the realm of time. Our choices will make the difference. Yes, God knows what we are going to choose. But He wants us to choose Him. That’s His will. Everything else will fall into place, if we choose God.

Dear Sovereign God, it is comforting to know that You are who You say You are. You are all powerful, all knowing, ever present. But You, in your wisdom have given us the ability to make choices. And those choices, according to Your will for Your creation, determine life on this planet. I pray that Your children will choose You, that we will intentionally put on Your armor, that we will purposefully choose to obey You, and that we won’t just sit back and assume You are going to do a great work in spite of us. May we not give up, thinking there is nothing we can do to change the tide. You can and do great things when we choose to be vessels through which You accomplish Your will. May You find us choosing to be faithful.

 

Jan 14 – Answers From Questions

Job 38-39

When I was getting my Masters Degree in School Counseling, we had to study many different counseling theories. Some I liked and used. Some I didn’t. But I learned to ask questions of the person sitting in front of me to help them find the answers they were often looking for.

In the chapters we read today, God finally speaks to Job. The very thing Job wanted to happen happened. But instead of getting answers, Job hears God ask dozens of questions. Questions like: Were you there when I laid the foundation of the earth? Have you ever in your life commanded the morning? Have the gates of hell been revealed to you? Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades? Who can count the clouds by wisdom…? Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars?

There must be about fifty or so such questions in these two chapters. And, of course, none of them are answerable by Job. But in the asking, God is helping Job understand some things about himself, and about God.

God laid the foundation of the earth. He can tell you the number of clouds in the sky. That’s the reality Job is learning. Our Creator is not our equal. Our Creator has rights we don’t have. Our Creator can do what He wants without your permission or approval.

I hope you read the chapters in Job today. You will come away feeling pretty small in light of who God is. As you should. But hear me when I say, if you keep reading God’s Word you will find that this great God loves you, died for you, and wants you close to Him.

Let’s keep reading! This is good stuff.

Jan 4 -Don’t Blame God

Job 1-5

My chronological reading plan takes a break from Genesis and has me reading in the book of Job today. I hope you take time to read these five chapters, too.

God is sovereign. That means nothing that happens happens without his ok. Satan never slips one past God. But God allows life to happen.

With it comes good times and bad, success and failure. We see Job, a godly man who had everything he could have ever wanted. Maybe his neighbors looked at Job and said – God sure has blessed that guy.

But when God allowed Satan to throw some devastating tests at Job, people blamed God. His servant assumed the fire that consumed the sheep and servants came from God. His own wife told Job to curse God and die. And Job’s friend, Eliphaz said, “According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity and those who sow trouble harvest it. By the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of His anger they come to an end.” (4:8-9)

But is that what we see here? Are the things that happened to Job a result of sin in his life, or maybe God’s anger toward him? Is God’s permission given to Satan to inflict harm the same as God causing harm?

I look around and realize we’re no different today. God doesn’t always get credit when good things happen. But He sure gets blamed when things go south. No matter if it’s a tornado, an epidemic, a mass shooting, or even a red light when we’re late for work, people often point a finger at God and ask, Why did you do that, God? Or they get angry with Him. Or they cut Him out of their lives.

But is it God or Satan we should curse?

Our Sovereign God is allowing Satan to have some freedom here. But He also is offering Himself in the midst of any trouble Satan throws our way. In fact, the gift of choice He gave us at creation enables us to choose Him no matter what.

There are those who will say that God orchestrates everything that happens in this life. But I see a different lesson here in Job. The difference is between God’s permission and His actions. (This is not to say that He never intervenes. There are times when bad things do happen as a direct consequence of our sin. That is another lesson.)

I know that, when my dear nephew died in an automobile accident in 2012 God’s strength and Presence was exactly what we needed to put one foot in front of the other. What Satan meant for evil, God used to encourage us and draw us closer to Him.

So my prayer for you is that you will take God up on His offer to stand with you, too, when bad things happen. Don’t waste time blaming or being angry with God. He is eager to bless you even in the darkest hours of your life.

Our Loving Heavenly Father, I pray that you will reveal Yourself to us as we read the account of Job. You are sovereign. You are good. You love us and Your one desire is to fellowship with us. May we put aside blame and just rest in Your Presence today, no matter what circumstances we are facing.